With all the great companies in the Plano area, you may be rethinking your current position and find yourself seeing what’s ‘out there’. It’s funny to me how people do well in an interview, but break into a cold sweat when it comes to talking about their salary.
Personally, I love negotiating salaries, because I keep emotion out of the equation. My view about money has always been combined with a feeling of play. Over time, I’ve gotten incrementally better at my own negotiations as well. Professionally, I’ve negotiated tens of thousands of dollars and never broken a sweat. Money is nothing more than a bunch of zeros on the end of a number.
I’d like my readers to be the best they can be, and it is for that reason that I share with you some negotiation tips:
Research, Research, Research
Know in advance the salary range of the job you are applying for. There are many salary calculators out there online that you can utilize to determine if you are above or below ‘market worth’. About.com is a good place to start or if you can get your hands on it, Robert Half International has a great salary survey that gets published once a year. Minimally, you can look up similar positions to yours on Monster.com. The ranges should be within $10,000 to $20,000 for comparable positions, depending on the organization. Read the job descriptions carefully to see if you have all the qualifications necessary for that salary range. Cross reference the job descriptions to ensure that your resume shows all the skills that you have demonstrated. Armed with data, you are sure to be well prepared for the salary conversation.
Check Your Emotions at the Door
Often, I’ve suggested to job seekers that when talking about money, to imagine that they are talking about someone else’s money and not theirs. If your ego is engaged at any point of the conversation, it can quickly escalate into a tug of war. Bad move. Salary negotiations are about money and never about power. Allow your emotions to rule and, without warning, the employer might be talking about what you are not worth, rather than what you are worth.
First Person that Speaks, Loses
You should not be the one to bring up money during the interview process. Let the employer broach the topic, but be prepared to discuss specifics. Before you throw out a number, know what the position pays and what your skill set commands. In this market, don’t be afraid to go to the top end of the range, as employers will pay for top talent. The market is supply and demand — and guess what — you’re in demand. Leverage your talent and start at the high end; you can always come down from there, if necessary.
When figuring the salary you wish to propose, go 5 to 10 percent (10 to 15 if you’re comfortable) higher than your current salary. Expect the employer to say no. If your figure is rejected, explain briefly and concisely why you deserve the salary you requested, without anger and without begging. Don’t be afraid of pregnant pauses after you state your requirements. Silence simply means that the employer is thinking about it. Take a deep breath and wait.
In a successful salary negotiation, you’re both discussing and creating the terms of an agreement, so that each of you will receive the maximum benefit.
My final piece of advice is that from an old deodorant commercial – Never let them see you sweat!